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Updated Interim Guidance for Medical Students’ Participation in Patient Care During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

March 30, 2020

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PRESS CONTACTS
John Buarotti, Sr. Media Relations Specialist

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) Chief Medical Education Officer Alison J. Whelan, MD, issued the following statement on updated interim guidelines for medical schools regarding medical student participation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

The AAMC has issued updated interim guidance that strongly supports medical schools pausing all medical students’ participation in activities that involve patient contact until at least April 14 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This extension will allow additional time to “flatten the curve” through social distancing, while enabling institutions to address issues with limited personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing.

This is meant to update and replace earlier guidance issued by the AAMC on March 17 and March 23 regarding the participation of medical students in direct patient contact activities.

Today’s guidance is intended to add to, but not supersede, an academic medical center’s independent judgment of the immediate needs of its patients and preparation of its students. The medical school dean has the authority and responsibility to make such decisions regarding medical students, such as if there is a critical health care workforce need locally. In cases where critical health care workforce needs exist, the AAMC’s updated guidance offers updates principles and guidelines for deciding if, when, and how it is appropriate to include medical students in caring for patients with or without known or suspected COVID-19.

The AAMC remains committed to working with medical schools to minimize negative impacts on students and support schools in making the necessary curricular adjustments. We will continue to update these guidelines as the situation evolves.”

The AAMC is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their 173,000 faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.

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